Justification statement on the research entitled ‘What kind of accommodation do you want?’

More than half of TU Delft students would rather share accommodation than live alone in a studio, reveals a Delta questionnaire. How did our research come about?

(Illustration: Liam van Dijk)

Would students rather live in a studio with a private bathroom and kitchen or in a student house with shared amenities? Do bachelor and master students have different housing requirements and what is the impact of the Covid pandemic on these accommodation preferences?

Delta ran a survey to poll the housing preferences of TU Delft students. This is the justification statement of our research entitled TU Delft students prefer to share accommodation than live alone’. 

Our survey ran from 11:30 on Tuesday 21 December to 10:00 on Friday 14 January and we publicised it through all our media channels (website, newsletter and social media).

524 respondents filled in the questionnaire. 145 people did not complete the questionnaire. 184 bachelor students, 182 master students, 7 transition students and 6 PhD students did complete it. Of the 379 respondents, 263 come from the Netherlands, 67 from the European Economic Zone (EEZ) and 49 from outside the EEZ.

Study phase
We divided the questions according to study phase. We distinguished between bachelor and transition students and master and PhD students as the accommodation preferences may differ between these groups. We wanted to know whether bachelor students would want to have different kinds of housing in their master phase given that the eligibility for rent allowance varies widely according to age group. To apply for rent allowance, people aged between 18 and 23 years must pay up to EUR 442.46 in rent every month. For people aged 23 years and above, this maximum rent is EUR 763.47 a month. So in terms of age, the housing market for master and PhD students is, in theory, larger.

The number of students at TU Delft in January 2022 was 13,954 bachelor students, 13,033 master students and 753 transition students (no public data was available on the number of PhD students). If we compare this to the number of respondents in each study phase (bachelor, master and transition), the sample is representative of the population (chi-square is 0.365270387). The survey is not representative in terms of nationality (Dutch, EEZ or non-EEZ, chi-square 0.00776) or gender (chi-square 00001246). 

  • A chi-square of > 0.05 shows that there is no significant difference between a sample and the population.

One explanation for the non-representative sample could be the timing of the questionnaire. The questionnaire was published online just before the Christmas holidays and was taken offline in the run-up to the exam period in January 2022. This has not been investigated so we are unable to explain it with any certainty, but we assume that in this period students found other things more important than filling in a questionnaire.   

Margin of error
Of the total TU Delft student population (excluding PhD students) of 27,745, the margin of error in a sample of 372 students is 5.05% with a reliability level of 95%.

The margin of error indicates the degree that the questionnaire outcomes reflects the whole population. If 60% of the respondents answer ‘yes’ with a margin of error of 5.05%, this would mean that between 54.95% (60-5.05) and 65.05% (60+5.05) of the entire population of TU Delft believe that the answer should be ‘yes’.

News editor Marjolein van der Veldt

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